It’s hard to imagine, but the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is already here and in full swing. Over the course of the next six weeks, we’ll be following the latest from Las Vegas.
The 2010 WSOP kicked off with Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em tournament. Only those who are employed by a casino may enter this event, which awards a gold bracelet to the winner. Exactly 721 players entered, creating a prize pool of $324,450. The winner was Hoai Pham from Mission Viejo, California, who won $71,424 and the coveted gold bracelet.
The poker world really got buzzing with the start of Event #2, the $50,000 Player’s Championship. With 116 entries, the prize pool was an impressive $5.57 million, with the winner not only taking in $1.55 million and the bracelet, but also the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, making this tournament arguably the most prestigious on the schedule.
The final table featured both of the Mizrachi brothers – Michael and Robert – making them the second brothers to make a WSOP final table at the same time. Michael Mizrachi recently made headlines for having his assets seized by creditors despite winning over $6 million in tournaments before this event.
Robert Mizrachi eventually parlayed his final table chip lead into a fifth place finish for $341,429 and popular Full Tilt Poker pro John Juanda finished in fourth place for $436,865. It was Michael Mizrachi who eventually won the event and the much-needed first place prize money. The $50,000 Player’s Championship will air on ESPN in July.
Event #3 was the first of six open $1,000 No Limit Hold’em events. Making headlines in this one was UB.com pro Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, who is fresh off his second place finish at the recent World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship. Baldwin had some sick luck go his way to make a deep run, with his 8-7 offsuit drawing out on pocket tens all-in pre-flop and his pocket nines spiking a two-outer on the river against pocket queens with all of the money in.
Baldwin eventually finished in 15th place. In the end, it was local grinder and Canadian citizen Aadam Daya who won the event and the $625,872 first place prize.
Event #4 was the $1,500 Omaha High-Low Split Eight or Better event, which had 818 entrants for a $1.1 million prize pool. The money finishers in this one included a long list of familiar names: Chau Giang, Shawn Buchanan, Huck Seed, and Jeff Madsen, just to name a few. In the end, it was Michael Chow who won the bracelet and added $237,140 to his name. Pros Dan Heimiller and former November Nine member Ylon Schwartz finished in second ($146,505) and third ($94,561), respectively.
The next event on the schedule was Event #5, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament that attracted 2,092 entrants. With so many in the field, the prize pool was a whopping $2.82 million, with the top five in this event all guaranteed six-figure payouts. Despite the huge field, a pro you’ve seen on television was able to take it down, as the U.K.’s Praz Bansi earned his second bracelet and added $515,501 to his net worth.
Event #6 was the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout that brought in 358 participants for a prize pool of $1.68 million. This event saw several notable names finish in the money, including Blair Hinkle, David “Chino” Rheem, Dario Minieri, Chad Brown, Justin “Boosted J” Smith, Faraz “The-Toilet” Jaka, Tommy Vedes, Max Pescatori, Christian “charder30” Harder, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and James Akenhead.
The Main Event wraps up on July 17th.